Here's Why Doctors And Salespeople Have More In Common Than You Think

Here's Why Doctors And Salespeople Have More In Common Than You Think

by from Medelita | Tuesday, Apr 26, 2016
tags: Features

It is strange to think that medical and sales professionals have similar job roles, considering that the two industries are so fundamentally different. However, despite the diversity of each profession, these two occupations are very similar indeed.

Just hear me out.

Think about a sales person at a bank for example. Say you walk into a bank to pull out some money, but the banker asks you to sit down with them for a second, and although you have things to do, you oblige the request.

The banker then pulls up your record and starts going through your previous statements only to tell you that you can qualify for a higher level credit card and a loan that can get you a better interest rate on some of the debt that you owe.

Let’s say the banker sells you on these two items. Now let’s consider a routine checkup at the doctor’s office. You feel fine, but you know that it is better to be safe than sorry. You walk in, sit in the waiting room for an hour and a half, and are finally seen, this time by your actual doctor instead of the nurse practitioner.

The doctor inspects your heart with the stethoscope, looks in your ears and mouth as you say, “ahhh” and reviews your medical history on the computer. The doctor sees that you received a flu shot for the past few years, and because it is the first of November, she suggests that maybe you should consider one again this year. She also sees that there is a history of diabetes in your family and suggests an FPG test to make sure your glucose levels are normal.

While there are differences in the way each of these processes work, both the salesperson/banker and the doctor sold you on different items: the banker with the credit card and loan, and the doctor with a flu shot and sugar test. These things are different, but both people sold to you in the same way because of their expertise and the assumption that each of them have your best interests at heart to make your life better (to be fair, the physician is trying to improve your health while the salesperson is probably just trying to make a sale, but you get the idea).

Similar to how salespeople sell products, information and services, doctors "sell" health services and treatments. Sometimes these things are not vitally important, like the credit card or FPG test, but because doctors and salespeople are good at getting you to trust them and see outcomes through their lens of expertise, they get you to buy.

Of course salespeople and doctors are dramatically different in so many ways: physicians receive years of training to gain their level of expertise, while a salesperson requires only a few weeks to become an expert on a certain product to sell. This isn’t to say that because you may have "sold" a medical treatment to a person based on your recommendation, you are reduced to the role of a salesperson. It’s just that there are some doctors that wouldn’t dare call themselves salespeople, when in reality, there do exist many similarities in the way they interact with patients or customers.

Salespeople do not have to go through a lifetime of medical school, or put their fingers in someone else's... well in someone else, but the point remains the same. There are differences in each profession, but the similarities are discernible.